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'The NBA is back': Mavericks, NBA expected to resume season July 31 with 22 teams, per ESPN

If approved by the NBA's board of governors on Thursday, games will be held at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Credit: AP
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shakes hands with Luka Doncic (77) after the 117-110 win over the San Antonio Spurs in an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks are one of 22 teams expected to travel to Orlando, Fla. next month when the NBA season returns on July 31, according to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

"The NBA is back," Woj wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

If the NBA's board of governors approves the league's proposal on Thursday, the season will restart with an eight-game regular season followed by a potential play-in tournament, the playoffs and the Finals.

The season is expected to conclude by Oct. 12.

Games and team activity will be held at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

RELATED: Disney parks in US will 'likely' require face masks when they reopen, CEO says

Most noticeably, only 22 of the 30 teams will participate when the season resumes.

The 22 are compromised of the current top eight teams in each conference, plus six additional teams within six games of their conference's eighth seed: Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix in the Western Conference; and Washington in the Eastern Conference.

After the eight regular season games, there will be a play-in tournament if any of the teams outside the top eight are within four games of the eighth seed.

Dallas is currently seventh in the West with a seven-game lead on the eighth seed. Barring a cataclysmic collapse, the Mavs have clinched a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

In short: this is a great scenario for the Mavericks. They get eight games to chase down a better playoff seed, since only four games separate them from the current three-seed Denver Nuggets. 

A team laden with young players should presumably be able to be more game-ready than a team with older players.

Oddly enough, the Mavs and Nuggets were the last two teams to play an NBA game before the season was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

More than four months later, the season is expected to resume with safety protocols in place.

"While players and coaches will be allowed to golf or eat at outdoor restaurants, they will also need to maintain social distancing," sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

"The NBA is planning to have uniform, daily testing for the coronavirus within the Disney campus environment," sources told ESPN.

The Mavericks declined comment until there is an official announcement from the NBA.

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